More than 35 million Americans are missing teeth. Not just some teeth, but all their teeth in one or both jaws, according to prosthodontists. One in four of us over 74 years of age have lost all our natural teeth, and 69% of people between 35 and 44 years old have lost at least one tooth. With these statistics, it?s not surprising that there have been a lot of advancements in dental implants. From a single tooth implant to more extensive work, a whole three million people in America have had dental implant surgery. Key to a successful single tooth implant or any dental implant is knowing what to do before and after the procedure.
- Oral hygiene before the implant is essential. A single tooth implant cannot be done well unless the surrounding teeth and gums are in excellent shape. This means good brushing and flossing habits, and no signs of infection anywhere.
- Take good care of the implant immediately after the surgery. Swelling and bleeding are normal. Ice will help with swelling and should be applied as much as possible for the first two days. There may be a lot of bleeding for the first day, but if it continues after that the dentist should be consulted. It?s important to drink plenty of fluids, so long as they are not hot, and to eat soft, nutritious foods. Most people can return to their normal diet quite quickly.
- Good oral hygiene must continue for a lifetime. Keeping the mouth clean is important for healing. Most people will get a rinse to use several times a day after their single tooth implant, and warm salt water rinses should be used continually throughout the day and after every meal. Brushing has to be gentle, but it won?t hurt the implant and should be done.
- Long term care is crucial. Dental implants will develop problems quickly unless they are taken good care of. The first sign of a problem is usually bleeding, but if potential issues are caught quickly at this stage they can sometimes be fixed. If the problem continues, however, irreversible bone loss can result and the implant may have to be removed entirely. To avoid this, the dental implant patient will need to floss and carefully brush, use antimicrobial mouth rinses, and have regular cleanings to remove plaque.
Dental implants have a great success rate of 98%. Dental implant advantages include an even bite and properly aligned jaw, which can help a person avoid issues with TMJ and other problems. All they need is a bit of careful care, and dental implants will last for years.